Vietnam has burden of non communicable diseases

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), usually chronic diseases, are becoming a burden for the society because it causes disabilities and premature deaths.

A man with chronic lung disease is examined (Photo: SGGP)

A man with chronic lung disease is examined (Photo: SGGP)

Many of the risk factors for non-communicable diseases are due to unhealthy lifestyle including physical inactivity, alcohol and tobacco abuse and can be prevented. 

Lately, in a meeting about non-communicable disease prevention held in Ho Chi Minh City, Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said chronic diseases are most common causes of deaths in Vietnam. Of every ten deaths, seven are caused by cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer and chronic pulmonary diseases. 

It is estimated that around 12 million Vietnam people suffered high blood pressure, nearly 3 million people have diabetes, 2 million get chronic heart and lung problems and nearly 120, 000 fresh cancer cases are reported per year. 

Non-communicable diseases cause 73 percent of deaths annually and 40 percent of died before age of 70.

For years, the Ministry of Health has made concerted efforts to control non-communicable diseases yet the surge of these diseases is at alarming rate in the Southeast Asian country.
Deputy Health Minister Long explained the increase in chronic diseases because people’s awareness of prevention is low; 45 percent of male still smoke and 77 percent of the population drink while the figure of obese people increase gradually. 

Additionally, the amount of salt Vietnamese people use is higher than that of proposed by the World Health Organization.

Furthermore, just a few people living with high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease are detected and under treatment with the rate of under 50 percent. 
NCDs already pose a substantial economic burden and this burden will evolve into a staggering one over the next two decades.

Dr. Lokky Wai, the World Health Organization Representative (WHO) to Vietnam said that these above-mentioned diseases will cost $47,000 billion in over 20 years next to become an economic burden for the world. Apart from that,Vietnam will pay more than $1 billion for tobacco-related diseases.
In developed countries, the rate of cardiovascular diseases and stroke reduced thanks to good control while in Vietnam the rate of the two diseases is on upward trend and they are leading cause of deaths.
Due to the upward trend of non-communicable diseases in the country, the Ministry has worked out a strategy with the vision to 2025 aiming to reducing he mortality rate to 20 percent caused by chronic diseases. 

Moreover, the Ministry strives to decrease 30 percent of smokers, 10 percent of drunkards, shrink 30 percent of the consumed salt and control the rate of obese people below 15 percent, people with high blood pressure under 30 percent and diabetes below 8 percent. 

To achieve its plan, the Ministry adopted measures and policies including the national nutrition strategy and re-arrange medical network to provide treatment in infirmaries in communes and distant villages.

At the meeting, experts said that it should set up a fund to raise the society’s health to back non-communicable disease prevention and improve people’s health. Many nations in the world have established the fund and it suits with Vietnam through the national strategy for non-communicable disease prevention for the period of 2015-2025.

Mr. Thanh Long said the health sector needs to intensify the prevention task and information as well as early detection to take initiative in treating these diseases.. The sector calls for people’s contribution in preventing the diseases by proper diet, maintain their weight, stop smoking and drinking so much alcohol products as well as do physical activities at least 30 minutes each day to keep fitness. 

By MINH VUONG - Translated by UYEN PHUONG

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